Calgary Flames

Breaking down the last time a Calgary Flame won every major NHL award

With the Calgary Flames having one of their best regular seasons in franchise history currently, it’s created some chatter around which Flames may have a chance at taking home some individual awards come NHL award season.

We took a look at why Johnny Gaudreau deserves some major consideration for the NHL’s most prestigious individual award in the Hart trophy, however there are also some other members of the organization who have solid shots at taking home awards in 2022 as well. Darryl Sutter is likely the frontrunner for the Jack Adams right now, Jacob Markstrom is a potential finalist for the Vezina, and even Mikael Backlund and Elias Lindholm have been making strong cases for some Selke votes.

Individual awards haven’t been very common around Calgary in recent years, so let’s take a look at the last time a Flame has won or been a finalist for every major NHL award.

Hart Trophy – Never

Previous winners: N/A

Finalists: Jarome Iginla (2001–02, 2003–04, 2007–08), Miikka Kiprusoff (2005–06)

The MVP of the NHL has never been awarded to a Flame since its inception in 1924. What a run. That said, if it weren’t for some shady behind the scenes action, Jarome Iginla would’ve claimed it in 2001–02. He even claimed the Ted Lindsay award that season, the award presented to the MVP as voted by the players themselves.

It was a two-horse race for the Hart that season between Iginla and Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jose Theodore and the two wound up tied with the same amount of voting points, with Theodore claiming the tiebreaker with more first place votes.

However a reporter from Quebec inexplicably left Iginla completely off his five player ballot. Had Iginla, who led the NHL with 52 goals and 96 points that season, even ranked fifth on the ballot he would’ve won the trophy. Today, ballots are made public and there’s no question the results of the 2001–02 voting were a large reason for that.

Iginla also finished second in voting in 2003–04, and third in 2007–08 as he dominated the NHL in the 2000s. Miikka Kiprusoff would also finish third in 2005–06. The only current Flame to finish top five in voting is Johnny Gaudreau who ranked fourth in 2018–19. Perhaps that will change soon.

Vezina Trophy – Miikka Kiprusoff (2005–06)

Previous winners – N/A

Finalists: Miikka Kiprusoff (2003–04, 2006–07), Mike Vernon (1988–89), Rejean Lemelin (1983–84, 1984–85)

The Flames have only had one goalie claim the Vezina Trophy awarded to the NHL’s best goaltender. Unsurprisingly it was the franchise’s best goaltender of all time in Kiprusoff who claimed the award after a dominant 2005–06 season.

Kiprusoff finished the 2005–06 season with 42 wins and a ridiculous 74 games played along with a .923 save percentage and 2.07 GAA. Only Martin Brodeur had more wins that season with 43. Kiprusoff also finished second in Vezina voting in 2003–04 and third in 2006–07 during a dominant three-year stretch. He was the only goalie not named Brodeur to win the trophy between 2003 and 2008.

Mike Vernon and Rejean Lemelin all the way back in the 80s are the only other Flames goalies to finish as finalists for the award. Like the Hart trophy, another name could very likely be added to the list this season.

Norris Trophy – Mark Giordano (2018–19)

Previous winners – N/A

Finalists: Dion Phaneuf (2007–08), Al Macinnis (1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91), Gary Suter (1987–88)

Another major award that has only been won by a Calgary Flame once in NHL history. The Norris Trophy’s lone trip to Calgary of course belongs to Mark Giordano who claimed the award after a tremendous 2018–19 season.

That season Giordano would finish with a career-best 74 points in 78 games, good for second among all defencemen. Giordano also posted elite defensive numbers that season which clinched him the award. Only three other Flames have ever finished as a finalist for the award, and only one since 1991 in Dion Phaneuf who finished second behind the legendary Nick Lidstrom in 2007–08.

You could say the late 80s were the golden age for the Flames blueline as Gary Suter finished third in 1987–88 to kick off four straight years of Flames finalists. It’s a travesty that Al Macinnis never won the award for the Flames, as he would be a finalist for three straight seasons finishing third in 1988–89 and second behind Ray Bourque in both 1989–90 and 1990–91.

Selke Trophy – Never

Previous winners: N/A

Finalists: Craig Conroy (2001–02), Joel Otto (1992–93, 1994–95), Colin Patterson (1988–89)

Major NHL awards just aren’t kind to the Flames as yet another major award has gone its entire existence without having a Flames player etched into its base. This time it’s the Selke, handed out to the NHL’s best defensive forward.

Flames players have come oh-so-close on a couple occasions however. Craig Conroy is the most recent example and the only one from the 2000s as he finished second in voting behind Michael Peca in 2001–02.

Colin Patterson also came close all the way back in 1988–89 as he would finished tied for second in voting with the Edmonton Oilers Essa Tikkanen. The legendary Guy Carbonneau would win that year. Also finishing as a finalist as a Flame was Joel Otto who finished third in voting in both 1992–93 and 1994–95.

Also a fun fact, I just couldn’t leave out was Sean Monahan finishing 20th in Selke voting with defensive results that looked like this. Courtesy of

Calder Trophy – Sergei Makarov (1989–90)

Previous winners: Joe Nieuwendyk (1987–88), Gary Suter (1985–86)

Finalists: Johnny Gaudreau (2014–15), Dion Phaneuf (2005–06), Jarome Iginla (1996–97)

What’s that? A major award that a Flame has won more than once? It’s a miracle. The Calder trophy handed out to the NHL’s best rookie has been won three times by a Flame—the most of any major award.

That said the most recent occurrence was over 32 years ago, when Sergei Makarov won the award at the ripe age of 31. He was then and still is the oldest player to ever win the award. After spending 11 years playing in Russia Makarov joined the Flames in 1989–90 and finished his first NHL season with 86 points, which ranked 29th in the NHL.

Joe Nieuwendyk also won the award two seasons prior, as did Suter two years before Nieuwendyk. A team having the Calder trophy winner three times in six seasons is something that seems unfathomable now and will most likely never happen again.

The only current Flame to finish as a finalist was Gaudreau who came third in 2014–15. Phaneuf and Iginla round out the list of Flames finalists as Iginla finished second to Bryan Berard in 1996–97, while Phaneuf finished third to Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin in probably the toughest year in history to win the award.

Conn Smythe – Al MacInnis (1988–89)

Previous winners: N/A

The Conn Smythe is almost always handed to the MVP of the Stanley Cup-winning team, so naturally a Flame has only won the award once. Al MacInnis claimed the honors in 1988–89 during after the Flames’ only Stanley Cup win.

MacInnis was lights out that year in the playoffs, posting 31 points in 22 games That total ranks as the 30th most points in one playoff year in NHL history. It’s also the third highest point total by a defenceman in one playoff year in NHL history.

There’s no runner ups for the Conn Smythe, but one of Iginla or Kiprusoff were a correct goal call away from winning the award in 2003–04.

Art Ross Trophy – Jarome Iginla (2001–02)

Previous winners: N/A

Finalists: Jarome Iginla (2007–08), Kent Nilsson (1980–81)

Iginla’s MVP level season in 2001–02 earned him the first and still only Art Ross trophy win in Flames history. An award typically dominated by a few players throughout history, Iginla’s win in 2002 was the first time a player not named Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux or Jaromir Jagr won the award since the 1979–80 season. Yes you read that right.

Iginla finished the season with 96 points in 82 games that year, six points ahead of the second place finisher Markus Naslund. He also finished third in NHL scoring in 2007–08. Kent Nilsson is the only other Flame to finish top three in scoring as he also finished third in 1980–81.

To have only two players in their 42-year history finish top three in scoring seems not great. Perhaps Gaudreau adds his name to the list this season.

Rocket Richard Trophy – Jarome Iginla (2003–04)

Previous winners: Jarome Iginla (2001–02)

Finalists: Jarome Iginla (2007–08, 2010–11)

The Rocket Richard trophy can be renamed the Jarome Iginla trophy in Calgary as he’s the only player in franchise history to win the award or finish top three in goals in the NHL.

Iginla last won the award in 2003–04 scoring just 41 goals, the lowest total to ever win the award in a full season as he tied with Ilya Kovalchuk and Rick Nash. He also won the award in 2001–02 with 52 goals which was nine more than second place Mats Sundin.

Iginla finished third for goals in 2007–08 with 50, and third in 2010–11 with 43. Between the award’s inception in 1998 and Iginla’s last top three finish in 2011, only Ovechkin finished top three in goals as many times.

Jack Adams – Bob Hartley (2014–15)

Previous winners: N/A

Finalists: Darryl Sutter (2003–04), Terry Crisp (1988–89, 1987–88)

The Jack Adams award is more often than not awarded to the coach who’s team has the highest PDO or the hottest goalie. 2014–15 was a perfect example of that as Bob Hartley won the franchise’s first and still only Jack Adams award as the NHL’s top coach.

The Flames had a miracle 2014–15 season, going from bottom feeder to the playoffs and Stanley Cup quarter finalist which earned Hartley the win. Unfortunately the success was short lived as the Flames fell flat the very next season and Hartley was fired just a year after winning the award.

A bleak history of award wins

Individual awards certainly aren’t something rich in Flames history, and especially not over the past 22 years. Since 2000, only three Flames players in Iginla, Kiprusoff and Giordano have won major individual awards. Since 2010, Giordano stands alone. Outside of those three, Gaudreau, Phaneuf, and Conroy are the only other players who have been finalists since the turn of the century.

This year however the Flames have the potential to have their most successful night at the NHL awards since the glory days of the 80s. With Gaudreau, Markstrom, Sutter and maybe even Backlund or Lindholm in the running to finish top three in awards voting, it’s an exciting time to be a Flames fan.

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